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What is Materials Science and Engineering?

Making Stuff! #materialsrocks

Materials scientists conduct research to develop new materials that have impact on our daily lives. For example, renewable energy, especially wind and solar power, is of primary importance worldwide. What happens in instances of cloud cover or low wind? Electrical grids become unstable resulting in damaged devices, loss of communication, or regional blackouts. Innovations in battery technology provide more efficient energy storage that can work in conjunction with wind and solar power. New discoveries in other areas such as printed graphene devices have dozens of potential uses such as touch screens in consumer electronics. Imagine biosensors incorporated into space suits for monitoring vital signs while astronauts are on a moonwalk. The opportunities are endless. From identifying and mitigating the effects of corrosion to creating materials that can shape shift and create their own energy, materials scientists are inventing new technologies. If you are interested in discovering new materials that change the world we live in, materials science and engineering is the right field for you.

For a great in-depth look at materials science and engineering, check out NOVA’s “Making Stuff” series. Boise State University College of Engineering Image of the NOVA logodean and Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering co-founder, Amy Moll was a key influence in creating the “Making Stuff” series. “Without Amy’s guidance and dedication, I don’t think ‘Making Stuff’ would have been possible,” said Richard Souza, manager of education and outreach for the Materials Research Society, which has been involved with the NOVA production from its inception.

Diversity in STEAM Magazine CoverWhat is the Average Salary for Materials Science-Related Fields?

Careers in materials science and engineering can be found in just about any industry from manufacturing to nuclear energy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, materials engineers are in high demand to design uses for new materials in traditional industries, such as aerospace manufacturing, and in industries focused on new medical or scientific products. Depending on the industry and level of education (B.S., M.S., or Ph.D.,) salaries can range from $70,000 to $150,000. Find out more about salaries and employment trends on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

You will want to be a part of shaping the future of materials once you find out how fascinating materials science and engineering is. Find out more about science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics and how important these fields are to our modern world by reading Diversity in STEAM Magazine. Just about every industry is in need of materials scientists and the job market continues to grow.

Ready to Learn More?

Boise State offers many opportunities to learn more about materials science: